It was a tale of two halves for Virginia football, as the Cavaliers fell to 2-5 on the season after losing to North Carolina 26-13 on Saturday. This is the 13th straight game the Cavs have lost on the road since 2012.
It was a good start for the 'Hoos. On UNC's opening drive, Demetrious Nicholson stripped the ball from Mack Hollins deep in UVA territory, and Micah Kiser recovered the fumble to return it for 21-yards. The Cavalier offense, however, had to settle for a field goal after marching to the red zone. After seven plays and four minutes, UVA took a 3-0 lead.
The 'Hoos were not going to be outdone. The Cavaliers struck quick themselves, after Daniel Hamm flipped the field with a 53-yard run. In just six plays, Matt Johns threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Hopkins, and the Cavs were back on top by seven.
After trading punts to start the second quarter, North Carolina breaks the pattern after Williams throwed over Nicholson to Bug Howard for the 36-yard completion making it first and goal from the three-yard line. On the next play, UNC capped off the eight play drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Elijah Hood. But UNC failed to convert a two-point conversion, and Larry Fedora's men only picked up a three-point lead over the 'Hoos half way through the second quarter.
The UVA offense could not answer, but Quin Blanding gave the 'Hoos another chance. Kwontie Moore brought the pressure, and forced Williams to get the pass out quick and right into the hands of the Virginia sophomore safety. Blanding's pick was the first for Virginia this season. However, red zone issues persisted for the Cavs' offense. Although, the 'Hoos managed to drive the ball to North Carolina's nine yard line, the Cavs had to settle for a 26-yard field goal.
The Tar Heels did have 25 seconds to play with before the end of the half, and it looked like the Heels were about to retake the lead after Williams found Howard for a 53-yard completion just shy of the end zone. But UNC was called for an offensive pass inteference and the first half would end locked at 13.
Just like in the first half, the second half started with a turnover, but this time it was UVA who gave away the ball. Johns facing a third-and-nine on UVA's 36-yard line throws a pass right to UNC defenisve back Sam Smiley. Smiley then zigged and zagged his way for 41-yards to Virginia's 16-yard line. The defense, however, made a crucial stop inside the ten. Michael Moore's nine-yard sack on third down forced the Heels to settle for a field goal,and the Cavs were just down by three.
Things quickly started to go wrong for the 'Hoos. Virginia's offense not only had to punt, but the defense gifted the Heels with a first down after back-to-back offsides penalty to put them on UVA's 37-yard line. Heels took full advantage with Hood stretching into the endzone for a three-yard touchdown and the ten point lead. The Cavaliers did not have an answer for UNC, Johns was once again picked off, for the second time in three possessions in the second half. Just like last time, the Tar Heels were forced to settle for a field goal.
On the ensuing possession and with the game on the line, the Cavs marched down the field inside the red zone. But on fourth and six, Johns threw a pick in the endzone and ending any hopes of a late comeback by the Wahoos.